Welcome, briefly captive audience before the next click that takes you far, far away to a server in Bangalore or Vladivostok.
I am going to do a tab-and-link dump here (a.k.a. structured procrastination). What I think is important enough to be reading right now, so that I keep a dozen or so tabs open for these papers. In addition, there were, until just now when I started cleaning up, tabs devoted to one blog post I hadn’t felt like I had finished reading or thinking about, an order of a new dishwasher, and directions to the venue at which I was going to be part of a wind ensemble concert Friday night, though it was cancelled in extremis yesterday. And numerous temporary tabs that get opened and closed – ever take a look at your history (Ctrl-Alt-H in Firefox)? Sobering. 248 clicks to different links yesterday morning, 176 in a similar time frame today.*
Without further ado:
News of the Week – Science 28 January 2011: Vol. 331 no. 6016 pp. 382-383 DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6016.382-a – what interested me here, was the announcement that Roche made, that a pharmacological inhibitor, RG7204 by the biotech company Plexxikon, extends life of patients with aggressive melanoma. Presumably only the ones with activating mutations in BRAF, which is an intracellular signaling effector in a number of growth factor pathways. I study among other things, the large congenital melanocytic nevus, a precursor condition in some cases to pediatric melanoma, which can be nasty stuff indeed and doesn’t respond well to current chemotherapies. If certain cases can rapidly be diagnosed as having constitutively active BRAF then they would also be good candidates for responding to this drug. I don’t know if this phase III trial includes children, but I highly doubt it.
In the closely watched phase III trial, patients with the B-RAF mutation who received the drug lived significantly longer and their tumors grew more slowly compared with patients who received a standard chemotherapy drug, Roche officials announced in a press release. But the company did not disclose how much longer patients lived on average. Full results will be reported later this year at a meeting. Patients receiving the standard drug will now be offered the option of switching to RG7204.
Cardiac neural crest orchestrates remodeling and functional maturation of mouse semilunar valves by Rajan Jain, Kurt A. Engleka, Stacey L. Rentschler, Lauren J. Manderfield, Li Li, Lijun Yuan, Jonathan A. Epstein. J Clin Invest. 2011;121(1):422–430 doi:10.1172/JCI44244 (Open Access, yay!)
The FGF-BMP Signaling Axis Regulates Outflow Tract Valve Primordium Formation by Promoting Cushion Neural Crest Cell Differentiation by Jue Zhang, Julia Y.F. Chang, Yanqing Huang, Xiang Lin, Yongde Luo, Robert J. Schwartz, James F. Martin, Fen Wang. Circ Res. 2010;107(10):1209-19.
FGF10 controls the patterning of the tracheal cartilage rings via Shh by Frédéric G. Sala, Pierre-Marie Del Moral, Caterina Tiozzo, Denise Al Alam, David Warburton, Tracy Grikscheit, Jacqueline M. Veltmaat and Saverio Bellusci. Development (2010) 138, 273-282. doi: 10.1242/dev.05168.
The care and maintenance of your adviser by Hugh Kearns & Maria Gardiner Nature 2011; 469 (570) doi:10.1038/nj7331-570a (Open Access, yay again!)
The Wnt/beta-catenin pathway regulates cardiac valve formation by Hurlstone AF, Haramis AP, Wienholds E, Begthel H, Korving J, Van Eeden F, Cuppen E, Zivkovic D, Plasterk RH, Clevers H. Nature. 2003;425 (633-7).
Biallelic somatic and germline mutations in cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs): evidence for a two-hit mechanism of CCM pathogenesis by Akers AL, Johnson E, Steinberg GK, Zabramski JM, Marchuk DA. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Mar 1;18(5):919-30. PMID: 19088123 (Open Access, yay again!)
A two-hit mechanism causes cerebral cavernous malformations: complete inactivation of CCM1, CCM2 or CCM3 in affected endothelial cells by Pagenstecher A, Stahl S, Sure U, and Felbor U. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Mar 1;18(5):911-8. PMID: 19088124 (Open Access, same issue)
Massive Genomic Rearrangement Acquired in a Single Catastrophic Event during Cancer Development by Stephens PJ, Greenman CD, Fu B, Yang F, Bignell GR, Mudie LJ, Pleasance ED, Lau KW, Beare D, Stebbings LA, McLaren S, Lin ML, McBride DJ, Varela I, Nik-Zainal S, Leroy C, Jia M, Menzies A, Butler AP, Teague JW, Quail MA, Burton J, Swerdlow H, Carter NP, Morsberger LA, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Follows GA, Green AR, Flanagan AM, Stratton MR, Futreal PA, Campbell PJ. Cell. 2011;144(1):27-40. PMID: 21215367.
Stringent requirement of a proper level of canonical WNT signalling activity for head formation in mouse embryo by Nicolas Fossat, Vanessa Jones, Poh-Lynn Khoo, Debora Bogani, Andrea Hardy, Kirsten Steiner, Mahua Mukhopadhyay, Heiner Westphal, Patrick M. Nolan, Ruth Arkell and Patrick P. L. Tam. Development (2011) 138, 667-676 doi:10.1242/dev.052803.
Ripply3, a Tbx1 repressor, is required for development of the pharyngeal apparatus and its derivatives in mice by Tadashi Okubo, Akinori Kawamura, Jun Takahashi, Hisato Yagi, Masae Morishima, Rumiko Matsuoka and Shinji Takada. Development (2011) 138, 339-348. doi: 10.1242/dev.054056.
Vax2 regulates retinoic acid distribution and cone opsin expression in the vertebrate eye by Giovanna Alfano, Ivan Conte, Tiziana Caramico, Raffaella Avellino, Benedetta Arnò, Maria Teresa Pizzo, Naoyuki Tanimoto, Susanne C. Beck, Gesine Huber, Pascal Dollé, Mathias W. Seeliger and Sandro Banfi. Development 138, 261-271. doi: 10.1242/dev.051037.
Dishevelled-associated activator of morphogenesis 1 (Daam1) is required for heart morphogenesis by Deqiang Li, Mark A. Hallett, Wuqiang Zhu, Michael Rubart, Ying Liu, Zhenyun Yang, Hanying Chen, Laura S. Haneline, Rebecca J. Chan, Robert J. Schwartz, Loren J. Field, Simon J. Atkinson and Weinian Shou. Development (2011) 138, 303-315. doi: 10.1242/dev.055566.
An Atlas of Combinatorial Transcriptional Regulation in Mouse and Man by Timothy Ravasi, Harukazu Suzuki, Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, Shintaro Katayama, Vladimir B. Bajic, Kai Tan, Altuna Akalin, Sebastian Schmeier, Mutsumi Kanamori-Katayama, Nicolas Bertin, Piero Carninci, Carsten O. Daub, Alistair R.R. Forrest, Julian Gough, Sean Grimmond, Jung-Hoon Han, Takehiro Hashimoto, Winston Hide, Oliver Hofmann, Atanas Kamburov, et al. Cell 2010, Volume 141(2)369. (Link is to the Resource – the atlas itself.)
…We have screened for physical interactions among the majority of human and mouse DNA-binding transcription factors (TFs). The complete networks contain 762 human and 877 mouse interactions. Analysis of the networks reveals that highly connected TFs are broadly expressed across tissues, and that roughly half of the measured interactions are conserved between mouse and human. The data highlight the importance of TF combinations for determining cell fate…
And because if there aren’t any photos, it didn’t happen, here is the obligatory furry-animal shot to sweeten the medicine. There was a deputy mayor of Bayonne (France, not New Jersey) on my right, and Pascal Ondarts on my left, a famous retired rugbyman, who baptized the tiger in my arms “Junot” at the behest of the circus Amar. They sponsor a patient group that itself supports my research in part. There have been other militant patient groups who have funded my work in the past and present, and I am grateful to all of them, and try to give them cause to be grateful to me in return.
* And yet I am not supposed to, nor do I, spend all day on the computer. I am no longer even a blogger. I am back to being a developmental biologist and an amateur musician and a few other roles, and that is starting to feel good and natural again, even though I get twinges when I see the fuss around science blogging conferences. If only we could live many lives in parallel. It’s all I can do to keep a couple going.